Stress management: 10 Tips to reduce, handle and avoid stress

By | January 14, 2013 | Health & Wellness

Stress management: 10 Tips to reduce, handle and avoid stress

Everyone reacts to stress differently, but if we don’t address it, the negative influences of stress will take its toll on our bodies, work and relationships. Review the following suggestions and decide which tips you can incorporate into your daily routine.

1.   Give yourself extra time.

Start the morning by awakening 15 minutes earlier so that you’re not rushed. You’ll be surprised how much more relaxed you feel when the clock isn’t your enemy. You might even have time for a more nutritious breakfast.

2.   Plan ahead.

Make your wardrobe decisions for the next day before you go to sleep. If you have children attending school, choose their clothes and set them out the night before. You’ll save time and your mornings will go a lot smoother when you’re not staring in your closet wondering what to wear.

3.   Get moving.

Exercise helps the body get rid of stress hormones. Park your car a little farther from the entrance to your workplace; take the stairs rather than an elevator; walk during your lunch break. These activities will also add a little exercise to your daily routine.

4.   Don’t over-schedule.

Be realistic about how much time a task takes to complete. Rushing through tasks leads to mistakes. Rushing from appointment to appointment leads to excess stress. You might experience feelings of guilt if you can’t be everything to everyone who asks for your help. Say “no” to additional commitments that exceed your time availability.

5.   Stop and take a breath.

When you’re feeling stressed, you may find yourself taking more shallow breaths. Instantly release tension and stress with deep breathing. This allows more oxygen to flow to the cells in your body. Take a deep breath by inhaling through your nose, into the depth of your lungs and feel your abdomen expand. Slowly exhale through your mouth, emptying your lungs completely. Try three deep breaths and notice how you feel more relaxed and energized. This is a powerful stress buster to incorporate into your day if you feel your stress level rising.

6.   Complete one task at a time.

Multi-tasking leads to errors and extra stress.  You may think that you’re being more efficient by trying to accomplish two tasks at the same time, but the brain works more effectively when it can concentrate and focus on one thing at a time. Establish a priority list and move through the list giving each task the attention that it deserves. You’ll find your work is likely to have fewer errors and you can enjoy a more productive and effective work process.

7.   Take a break.

Your body and brain need a break from work to rejuvenate and re-energize. It takes energy to concentrate on a project! Get up and walk around, stretch, and let your mind rest before returning to your work and refocusing on the task at hand. You’ll feel renewed, refreshed, and ready to tackle your assignments with less stress and fatigue.

8.   Eat well.

Your body needs healthy nourishment to function properly. Plan ahead to create healthy menus that provide the nutrition to keep your body energized and your mind alert. Pack healthy snacks to enjoy when you feel that mid-morning or mid-afternoon energy slump. Snacks such as raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and water can provide your body with the fuel to keep going.

9.   Build in sleep time.

We never seem to get enough sleep these days. When you’re scheduling your time, don’t forget to block out 7-9 hours for your daily sleep. An hour before you’re ready to turn in, start preparing for sleep. Create a soothing atmosphere with relaxing music and more quiet activities to calm your body.

10.   Enjoy your friends.

Make time to keep up with friends and family so you can maintain a healthy support network. It’s important to share your concerns and your success stories. Find someone with whom you can discuss situations that are causing you stress and find the support you need to handle challenges as they arise. There’s no one better than a friend to share a good laugh, release stress, and encourage camaraderie.

What are some of  your  favorite ways to reduce, handle and avoid stress? Share with us below?

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Ann Gatty

Dr. Ann Gatty coaches individuals in stress management strategies and building life transitions to balance personal and professional goals. Visit her website, to learn more about stress management tools, stress reducing tips, and information to help women, moms and teens effectively manage their daily stressors so that they can reach their full potential in their personal and professional lives.

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